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Unformatted text preview: 1 Extraterrestrial Life: Spring 2008 Results of radial velocity searches Since the planet is not directly detected, only information is that which can be derived from the radial velocity curve: `mass - actually M p sin(inclination) orbital period / orbital radius eccentricity of the orbit Can also measure some properties of the host star, such as its mass and metallicity - normally expressed as the abundance of elements heavier than helium relative to the abundance in the Sun. Extraterrestrial Life: Spring 2008 Selection effects / biases v * = M p M * GM * a You see Frst what s easiest to see or a particular mass star, the planets that produce the largest radial velocity signal are those that are (a) massive and (b) orbit at small distance from the star Also, need to detect the whole orbit of the planet around the star, so need to monitor the star for a long time. Recall the orbital period of Jupiter about 10 years....
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- Spring '08